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May 1, 2012 09:15 AM

kosher restaurant jezebel to open in nyc

from ny magazine:
This June, Jezebel will be joining the ranks of the nouveau Jewish restaurants opening around the city like Kutsher's, Jack's Wife Freda, and La Vara. Menachem Senderowicz and Henry Stimler will open their "Modern American Kosher'' spot at 323 W. Broadway in Soho, with Cafe Boulud alum and former Food & Wine Best New Chef Bradford Thompson as culinary director.

"Think of our menu as modern riffs on American dishes, using only the freshest seasonal ingredients ... and the food just happens to be kosher,'' says Thompson.

"There's been this crazy attention towards updated Jewish fare but what we're looking to do is take a great chef like Bradford Thompson and have him prepare sophisticated American food in a sexy, young environment," adds Senderowicz. The 150-seat bi-level space, designed by Gregory Okshteyn of Studios Go, will have a downstairs cocktail lounge (L'chaim!) and dining room upstairs.


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    1. "There's been this crazy attention towards updated Jewish fare but what we're looking to do is take a great chef like Bradford Thompson and have him prepare sophisticated American food in a sexy, young environment," adds Senderowicz.

      ... guess this is why they chose the name. But I wouldn't recommend going to the .com version of this as it's one of the raunchier Gawker blog network properties.

      I assume the name could potentially offend patrons who accidentally end up there in search of the eatery.

      10 Replies
      1. re: tamarw

        here is info about their logo

        considering Jezebel was not Jewish in the bible and was in reality a villainess, I am unsure why this name was picked.

        1. re: koshergourmetmart

          Yeah, I can see the backlash on this one.

          Hopefully the food is good though :)

          1. re: koshergourmetmart

            but she looks so good in a red dress......................................

            (Bette Davis reference)

            1. re: bagelman01

              Looking forward to seeing a menu!

              1. re: marissaj

                Looking forward to seeing who gives the hechser.... with a name like that, I'm guessing it's not going to be any of the national ones.

                1. re: CWY

                  I really hope that the owners arent denied hashgacha by anyone based on the name.

                  1. re: CWY

                    According to the link I posted below, the restaurant will be certified by Rabbi Aaron Mehlman.

              2. re: koshergourmetmart

                Not just a villainess but a false prophet and proponent and symbol of idolatry. Very strange choice.

                1. re: barryg

                  My guess is that something like this has happened: In the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, a 'Jezebel' was an evil temptress, the same way yeshivish Jews today might call someone a 'Haman,' when they mean they're a Jew-hater, not that they're a Persian grand vizier during the Babylonian Exile. Over time, 'Jezebel' evolved into something like 'slut.' With the rise of sex-positive feminism in the nineties, there's been an effort to reclaim words like 'slut,' to say that women who like sex are not bad people to be shamed, and thus that 'slut' and similar words aren't negative terms. As such, synonyms for slut, like Jezebel, have come to mean 'sexy' and 'fun' in some circles, and Jezebel has lost its really negative Biblical overtones. (Witness the Gawker website of the same name, which sells itself as a very with-it, fun site for young women.) Probably someone Biblically ignorant said, ooh, a word for 'sexy' and 'fun' that's also Jewish and Bible-y! That must be an awesome name for my restaurant!

                  But yes, it makes me skeptical. Still hoping for the best!

                  1. re: GilaB

                    Yea that makes sense, but you'd think at least one person principally involved in a kosher restaurant concept would have different perspective...

            2. The restaurants mentioned in the magazine do not have Orthodox kosher supervision, correct me if I'm wrong. If this isn't being marketed to the Orthodox Jewish market, then why would the owners care about the associations of the name? If they are marketing to me, then, yes, I would be confused at the choice as my associations with Jezebel are a tempting and inappropriate woman and Betty Davis from the movie. I wouldn't associate Betty with yummy food, but that's just me.

              8 Replies
              1. re: cappucino

                Maybe they're just focused on the food, and will let that speak for itself.

                1. re: avitrek

                  Many chefs speak about their food being "sexy," so perhaps this is where they are going.

                  1. re: avitrek

                    "What's in a name?' The reality is that the name, the decor, the advertising choices...all that does set a tone. A restaurant should be a dining experience. The best restaurants at which I've eaten hit all the marks and set a tone. The problem in recent years is that no one cares too much about anything. Again, if they are marketing to me, then it's a little problem because it means there's a lack of thought or that someone is trying to make a point. I don't like either of those scenarios. If they are not marketing to me, then they can make whatever point they want to make.

                  2. re: cappucino

                    actually none of the restaurants mentioned are kosher! the new trend seems to be jewish food and that is what jezebel is capitalizing on

                    1. re: koshergourmetmart

                      I figured. That's fine. Gezunta Heit, as my Bahby would say. I do wish, though, that someone would go out and open a good kosher restaurant that was actually really kosher...and sexy. That would be nice.

                      1. re: koshergourmetmart

                        Same as the immortal Katz's is kosher style same as other Jewish restaurants back in the day. My day the 1950s and 60s in Queens, New York. And kosher style none of these abomination Reubens an Rachels and such sandwiches. Meat was never eaten with cheese and crap like thousand island dressing. My first mem of eating Katz's stuff is 1960.

                        But I digress....
                        So if I wandered into Katz's circa 1972 I knew I would eat a pastrami on rye with french fries. Maybe a knockwurst with lots of 'Kraut you could ladle on by yourself I'm sure that public 'kraut pot is gone by now. There were no Reubens or Rachels on the menu back then. Mustard and pickles and a Zen like enjoyment was your condiment not some stupid cheese

                        1. re: zzDan

                          In these difficult economic times it's difficult for an expensive kosher establishment
                          to make a go of it. Soho or Tribecca does not draw a lot of observant jews. I believe
                          they really have to be something very special to make a go of it and not just another
                          Nanou or Box Tree which were beautiful places that lasted only a very short time.

                          1. re: Maven123

                            Yes it is really tough. Good luck to them at Jezebel

                        1. re: ATH44

                          Biggest news is they are trying non-mevushal wine. Lets hope they succeed.

                          1. re: avitrek

                            How much non-mev wine is out there these days? Every bottle I buy seems to be.

                            Can someone explain this to me?
                            "Supervised by the Orthodox Union certification agency, Mr. Petard is able to have live music only on Saturdays—when complimentary handmade cigars are also available."

                            1. re: DeisCane

                              There are some you get in Israel. And, oddly, the Pennsylvania State Store system has a very fine line of excellent Tabor blends that seem to be their private label - non-mevushal.

                              1. re: DeisCane

                                They meant, that when they are open on Friday evenings, you get no cigars and no live band.

                                1. re: DeisCane

                                  The vast majority of kosher wine produced today, especially from Israel, is not-Mevushal. However, outside of the two coasts, there is a very limited variety of kosher wine available which is mostly driven by the varied distributors and much of it tends to be mevushal. Additionally, you will only see mevushal wines in restaurants, just another reason that Jezebel will be an exciting addition to the NYC scene, enabling you for the first time in New York to have a quality kosher meal accompanied by top-notch kosher wine.

                                  1. re: yossieh

                                    I am in NJ, though and I rarely see non-mevushal wine.

                                    Adina, if that's what they meant....they need a new editor.

                                      1. re: DeisCane

                                        Where do you do your wine shopping? I see it all the time (Manhattan/Riverdale), but I also tend to shop at places with extensive kosher wine selections. For that matter, Trader Joes has a few non-mevushal wines (the Terrenal line), so it's not nearly that rare.

                                    1. re: DeisCane

                                      I assume they meant that live music is only allowed on Saturday nights, which is an odd rule for the certifying agency, but you never know these days...

                                      1. re: avitrek

                                        The Shulchan Aruch forbids music at a meal, which is generally taken to mean live music, except at a seudat mitzvah. Perhaps the OU considers melaveh malkah to be a seudat mitzvah, where music is permitted.

                                        1. re: zsero

                                          Is it possible that the OU withholds certification because an otherwise kosher restaurant has live music on weeknights?

                                          1. re: helou

                                            I have confirmed with the OU that this is indeed what's happening.
                                            "When wine is sold, there can be no live music except for Saturday night."

                                            So they're interpreting the restriction very narrowly, as narrowly as they can, but they are enforcing it, as is of course appropriate. They can hardly tell people it's permitted to eat somewhere if the Shulchan Aruch says it isn't.

                                          2. re: avitrek

                                            Talis's very often has live music and not only on Saturday nights

                                            1. re: mggn

                                              Talia's is not under the OU. Maybe Rabbi Marmorstein has a different standard, or has a narrower interpretation of the law in question.

                                              1. re: zsero

                                                Jezebel is not going to have live music - only a DJ.
                                                Moreover, there are several viewpoints on the weeknight live music/wine issue. E.G., Wolf and Lamb (OK); T Fusion (R. Gornish); Royal Palace (Keystone K).

                                        2. re: avitrek

                                          If I remember correctly there was a different restaurant that served non-mevushal wine, don't remember which one, Box Tree maybe?
                                          Even as someone who appreciates good wines I still see this as being of dubious value…
                                          There's a decent amount of good mevushal stuff and someone who doesn't keep kosher wouldn't even know the difference. The only real benefit is that they can serve some big name Bordeaux for $500 (or whatever) a bottle.

                                          1. re: ATH44

                                            It's all about marketing and cachet.

                                            Look at the buzz they've generated just by saying "non-mevushal"

                                            1. re: AdinaA

                                              And after all that hoopla, it turns out that they will *not* be serving non-mevushal wine after all!

                                              Elan Kornblum's mailing today says:
                                              Contrary to other reports, the highly-anticipated Soho restaurant will only be serving mevushal wines when they open next month. And here is an exclusive first look at their logo.

                                          2. re: avitrek

                                            they will not be serving non-mevushal wine - it didn't work out with the kashrut certification.